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Aug 2, 2011 05:06 PM

Average posting lifespan of a Chowhound

I lurked for years from '99 on, largely because I didn't have a computer or regular access to being online.
That finally changed 4 years ago. Meatn3 was born and I dove right in!

There are a few posters I recognize from way back. It seems to be that 3-5 years is the average that a poster stays active (posting with regularity). There will always be the one-hit wonders who jump in once and move on, but I'm curious about those who were quite active and then you just don't hear from them much if at all. Nature abhors a vacuum, so there always seem to be new voices joining the party and making the absence of others less noticeable.

I've found I've cut back a bit. A certain amount is due to the cyclical nature of the posts leading to a "been there, done that" situation. I've said what I needed to on many things (cast iron for example ;-D) and don't feel inclined to revisit the topic. Also, with the economy and my wallet, I'm not eating out as often - so less to add to the party.

But I still find new things to explore, new voices to hear and new things to try. My life has been enriched on many levels from giving spirit of Chowhounds!

Is my experience typical? What is the average length of time a poster stays active? Just curious!

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  1. Well that question and it's data is going to be limited in scope since this site only became a "subscription/sign up" deal with the takeover by Sea/Net after Jim sold to them. Lots of old time posters (like me who began posting actively in 2001) came back as new "personalities/posting handles" with that advent.

    1. We have lost some real spark plugs here in the last 2 years, whos knowledge and wit combo were half the reason for my attraction to the site. In the current restrictive environment, I don't think anyone can be a mini rock star. We all sing a restrained, dull, monotone pledge of allegience to the mods, and then post a recipe or a resto suggestion. Whoopie. I'm fairly irrelevant as I approach 5 years, and fading.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Veggo

        Right now is the most restrictive I've seen chowhound yet. All the personality of a filleted fish. The expectation of "breezy" posts has become a chill wind even in the heat of august.

        1. re: givemecarbs

          It's kinda true. A friend just got suspended for what I thought was an opinionated but fairly innocuous statement about bringing condiments to your own restaurant.

          I'm thinking it has a lot to do with people reporting comments...

          1. re: inaplasticcup

            While we do need people to report things to bring them to our attention (we can't read everything), we don't simply react to user reports. Nothing's ever deleted just because it was reported, but rather, we use reports to guide us to threads that need attention, and then consider how the posts fit with our rules.

            We can't discuss specific actions related to specific users, but we can note that suspensions are even more carefully considered, and not the result of a single post on a single thread. We may send along a recent post as an example of the problem when we email about the suspension, but it's never about that one instance alone. We follow an escalation path with issues, and before we move on to suspensions, we first send multiple warnings. It's only if they choose to ignore the warnings and continue with similar behaviour that suspensions come into play.

            Even then, the first suspension on our escalation path is a short term thing -- we write and ask the person if they will agree not to post in that problematic way in the future, and as soon as they write back and agree, we reactivate their account.

          2. re: givemecarbs

            I am amazed to find my post still here.Historically far softer jabs and "less off subject" missives have gotten the boot.
            I also happen to be someone that has NEVER been sent an explaination or had an inquirery about said infraction responded to.
            As a F&B trade professional with habits from sites far less ??bland?? and I don't include rants and tirades.I find with CH it's a bit hard to figure what they are going to be ??overly?? touchy about.The rules of engagement here can be hard and or slippery sometimes for reasons that leave me clueless.

            1. re: givemecarbs

              You wouldn't believe the Toronto bored, sorry I mean board. Th efeeling I get is, what's the[point?

          3. This October will be my 5th year. I find i'm pretty active still, but it's not always as fun. I too agree that at times I feel I've said the same thing over and over again (eat at "blah-blah"!) but i definitely still find surprises here. the WFD thread inspires on a daily basis - a week probably doesn't go by that I don't find something new I want to try to cook. i am sure that new blood will bring new vibrancy, and i'm sure I'll bemoan the loss of voices past. People are at turns helpful & annoying. I am sure I have been both.

            1. I think I started posting in 2007 (?), after my man had alerted me to the existence of this site, and clearly thought I needed another procrastination vehicle '-)

              I feel like others here -- experiencing a bit of fatigue, particularly with threads on the NAF, GC & FMN boards.... lots of repetition.

              I still very much value the HC board (I have made some virtual & non-virtual CH buds there), and CH is still my go-to source for any travel prep --

              I also like to help people out who travel to my hometown, Berlin. Some of my suggestions may sound like a broken record, but I discover new places each summer & am happy to share them.

              The moderation seems to have gotten more heavy-handed over time, tho, which is another reason for my posts having become less frequent.

              3 Replies
              1. re: linguafood

                haha-our posts have become "less frequent" because they keep getting deleted!

                  1. re: mariacarmen

                    I feel so special here on CH, because this is literally the ONLY site that has ever deleted my posts. I must be so edgy, even in my middle age!

                1. I think I've been posting about five or six years, maybe, but never with a very strong presence on any particular board.

                  Lately I ve been thinking about those who have been absent recently, and hoping that they are ok. Jfood, for one, and Caroline1. I know people get busy and drop off, and life holds more important distractions, but I hope people wander away because life is hectic and good, not because there's been a tragedy.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: rabaja

                    I've e-mailed them & they are both well!

                    This is why I wish more people had a CH related e-mail - the motherhen in me gets worried when someone stops posting!

                      1. re: meatn3

                        Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this.
                        I'd hoped they were, but Sam and Moh seemed to be taken so quickly on this forum.
                        I know it's subjective and I shouldn't be such a worry-wart.

                        1. re: rabaja

                          I felt the same way. I still wonder about danhole in Houston. No answer from her email and other CH's that I contacted had no idea.

                          The downside of getting to know people in an informal manner.

                          When I used to wait tables we would sometimes have a well liked regular just disappear. Never knew if their habits changed or if something happened to them. Often you don't know the last name so the obits usually aren't helpful unless there is a photo. Even then, many of the photos are decades old.

                          Note to self: Update your photo and leave instructions to post my demise on CH...

                        2. re: meatn3

                          Oh I am so happy to hear they're OK! I've missed their posts and their liveliness!